Components

Gray Wolf Games has been working with an amazing artist from JiangSu Province, China named Yan Li to develop the look and feel of the octagon terrains, the five elements, and the single-colored images of the Shaolin five animals. The octagons have a painted quality to them that gives the board a beautiful depth. In contrast, the elements and animals were created as solid cutouts with the feel of a traditional Chinese seal.

As Wu Wei has evolved, so has the art. Matthew Waggle has created some amazing character art and an inspired box cover that really helps bring the game together.

Octagonal Tiles

The shape of each octagonal tile is based on the Feng Shui Ba Gua Mirror. The Ba Gua mirror is among the most well-known and commonly used of all the Feng Shui protection spells, remedies, or magical cures for improper placements of houses – placements that may attract bad luck or lead to sorrow or illness in the dwelling. Buildings placed near graveyards, bridges, or with a large tree blocking the entrance are said to be at a disadvantage from “poison arrows” of sha that damage those inside the dwelling or place of business.

Center Tile Back

The Tree of Life

“The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine stories rose from a small heap of earth; the journey of a thousand miles commenced with a single step.”

Lao Tzu

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64

Disciple Level

This symbol is known
as the Wu Xing
or “Five Elements”

“Ward Off, Rollback, Press, and Push are called the four cardinal directions. Rollpull, Split, Elbow, and Lean Forward forms are called the four diagonals. Forward, backward, to the left side, to the right side, and center are called metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, respectively. When combined, these forms are called the thirteen original styles of T’ai Chi.”

Master Chang San-feng

Tai Chi Classics I

Master Level

This symbol is known
as the Bagua
or “Eight Trigrams”

“T’ai Chi is born out of infinity. It is the origin of the positive and negative. When T’ai Chi is in motion, the positive and negative separate; when T’ai Chi stops, the positive and negative integrate.”

Master Wong Chung-yua

Tai Chi Classics II

Emperor Level

This symbol is a
stylized version of the
Chinese character Lu
or “Prosperity”

“The control of a large force is the same in principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers.”

Sun Tzu

The Art of War, Chapter 5

Spring Forests

6 octagons per game

Summer Mountains

6 octagons per game

Autumn Marshes

6 octagons per game

Winter Lakes

6 octagons per game

Fields

The back side of all spring, summer, autumn, and winter octagons

Walls

8 octagons per game

After ending a move on a field, the emperor may place a wall on that field.

Students and masters may not move onto spaces with a wall on them

3 chi of the active element destroys a wall adjacent to one of your characters

Sun

First Player Marker

This marker starts with the sun side facing up.

When the season changes to winter, the first player marker flips to the moon side.

Moon

First Player Marker

The moon side indicates that a gathering (a blind bid of chi) will take place before the first player’s next turn to determine the new first player.

emperor

The Emperor

China was eventually united under one of the regional kings, the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. During the Qin Dynasty, the emperor wielded absolute power over all of China. The emperor was despotic, ordering the burning of books to remove all evidence of any earlier dynasties and burying many scholars alive. His tight control of China allowed him to conscript massive labor forces and construct ambitious projects like the Great Wall of China. Abolishing landowning lords increased agricultural output and allowed for larger military forces. His public works projects included a massive new national road system as well as the city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army. He ruled until his death, despite his infamous search for an elixir of immortality.

“The partial becomes complete; the crooked, straight; the empty, full; the worn out, new. He whose desires are few gets them; he whose desires are many goes astray.”

Lao TzuTao Te Ching, Chapter 22

Square Tiles

There are nine square tiles in each quadrant of the board placed between the octagons. The shape of the square tile and the formation of each quadrant is reminiscent of the Lo Shu Square. The Lo Shu Square is part of the legacy of the most ancient Chinese mathematical and divinatory traditions, and is an important emblem in Feng Shui, the art of geomancy concerned with the placement of objects in relation to the flow of chi or “natural energy”.

square_north

North

This is not a valid space for players to move on. It indicates the direction where octagons can be flipped and walls can be placed.

square_south

South

This is not a valid space for players to move on. It indicates the direction where octagons can be flipped and walls can be placed.

square_east

East

This is not a valid space for players to move on. It indicates the direction where octagons can be flipped and walls can be placed.

square_west

West

This is not a valid space for players to move on. It indicates the direction where octagons can be flipped and walls can be placed.

square_circle_back

Town Back

Except for the towns in the four corners of the board, the type of chi in a town remains hidden until a player ends their turn on it.

Ending your turn on a town changes the type of chi that players can use.

square_triangle_back

Temple Back

Temples are hidden during setup and revealed before the game begins.

Ending your turn on a temple changes the season and that determines which octagonal tiles players can travel on when they move.

square_square_back

Palace Back

The type of chi in a palace remains hidden until a player ends their turn on it.

In a student level game, ending your turn on a palace gives you the opportunity to place a wall in the direction indicated on the square card.

In a master level game, ending your turn on a palace gives you the opportunity to flip an octagon to the fields side in the direction indicated on the square card.

square_circle_back_tower

Tower

5 squares per game

After ending a move on a town, a general may place a tower on that town. If this is the second tower placed in a corner of the board, gain a second black general. If its the third, gain a white general. New generals start on the center octagon.

square_circle_wood

Wood Town

4 squares per game

+1 Wood Chi

square_triangle_wood

Wood Temple

1 square per game

+1 Wood Chi

square_square_wood

Wood Palace

Starting position for
the Leopard Master

1 square per game

+1 Wood Chi

Leopard Lineage Marker

After moving, a master gains three chi. Leopard Masters receive Wood Chi.

square_circle_fire

Fire Town

4 squares per game

+1 Fire Chi

square_triangle_fire

Fire Temple

1 square per game

+1 Fire Chi

square_square_fire

Fire Palace

Starting position for
the Tiger Master

1 square per game

+1 Fire Chi

Tiger Lineage Marker

After moving, a master gains three chi. Tiger Masters receive Fire Chi.

square_circle_metal

Silver Town

4 squares per game

+1 Metal Chi

square_triangle_metal

Metal Temple

1 square per game

+1 Metal Chi

square_square_metal

Metal Palace

Starting position for
the Crane Master

1 square per game

+1 Metal Chi

Crane Lineage Marker

After moving, a master gains three chi. Crane Masters receive Metal Chi.

square_circle_water

Water Town

4 squares per game

+1 Water Chi

square_triangle_water

Water Temple

1 square per game

+1 Water Chi

square_square_water

Water Palace

Starting position for
the Dragon Master

1 square per game

+1 Water Chi

Dragon Lineage Marker

After moving, a master gains three chi. Dragon Masters receive Water Chi.

square_circle_earth

Earth Town

4 squares per game

+1 Earth Chi

square_triangle_earth

Earth Temple

1 square per game

+1 Earth Chi

square_square_earth

Earth Palace

Starting position for
the Snake Master

1 square per game

+1 Earth Chi

Snake Lineage Marker

After moving, a master gains three chi. Snake Masters receive Earth Chi.

square_yin_black

Yin Side of Yin Yang Tiles

The two yin-yang tiles begin the game on white and black.

Each time a yin-yang tile becomes unoccupied, flip that tile to the other side. The flow of yin-yang determines which character(s) you may move during your turn.

In a student level game, this space is blocked by a Black General.

In a master level game, this space is the starting position for the First Black General.

square_yang_white

Yang Side of Yin Yang Tiles

The two yin-yang tiles begin the game on white and black.

Each time a yin-yang tile becomes unoccupied, flip that tile to the other side. The flow of yin-yang determines which character(s) you may move during your turn.

In a student level game, this space is blocked by the White General.

In a master level game, this space is the starting position for the Emperor.

General Kwan

Warrior of Peace & God of War

Kwan Gong (Guan Yu) is poised in practically every kung fu Kwoon (school). Whether as a picture or statue, his presence to oversee activity and training is inspiring.

It is said that not only was he an excellent General that was able to avoid confrontations when advantageous, but that over time he was offered land, money, and women by the Emperor’s enemies. These enemies knew that if they had to face Guan Yu on the battlefield, that would most likely lose, so they took a softer approach to get themselves on his good side.

“In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact.”

Sun TzuThe Art of War, Chapter 3

general

Character Pieces

Shaolin monks admired the beauty, power, grace and fluidity of various animals and sought to emulate them. They copied their movements and their fighting tactics and created some of the most beautiful and deadly martial arts the world has ever seen.

The snake, dragon, tiger, leopard, and crane served to strengthen the bodies of monks who had been sitting all day in meditation. Each animal helped develop certain aspects of the students such as patience, aggression, fluidity of movement, awareness of environment, playfulness and so on.

dragon

blue_student2

Dragon Student

blue_master2

Dragon Master

tiger

red_student3

Tiger Student

red_master2

Tiger Master

leopard

green_student2

Leopard Student

green_master2

Leopard Master

snake

yellow_student3

Snake Student

yellow_master2

Snake Master

crane2

silver_student3

Crane Student

silver_master2

Crane Master

Oath of the Peach Garden

“When saying the names Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, although the surnames are different, yet we have come together as brothers. From this day forward, we shall join forces for a common purpose: to save the troubled and to aid the endangered. We shall avenge the nation above, and pacify the citizenry below. We seek not to be born on the same day, in the same month and in the same year. We merely hope to die on the same day, in the same month and in the same year. May the Gods of Heaven and Earth attest to what is in our hearts. If we should ever do anything to betray our friendship, may heaven and the people of the earth both strike us dead.”

Luo Guanzhong

The Oath of the Peach Garden from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms

white_emperor3

Emperor

white_general3

White General

black_general_x2-2

First Black General

black_general_x2-2

Second Black General

Tracking Boards

The circle represents the infinite, and the infinite is at the basis of all things. The triangle comes from the void of the circle. The triangle is the beginning of all forms. Out of the triangle comes the square. A square is the triangle doubled. This doubling process goes on infinitely until we have the entire universe. If one truly understands the functional use of the square, circle, and triangle in combat, they will become a highly skilled fighter.

Chi Tokens

There are 36 chi tokens for each of the five elements for a total of 180 tokens per game. Between each of the elements there exists the close relationships of mutual generation, mutual subjugation, extreme subjugation, and counter subjugation. The five elements theory explains the interrelatedness of all things through the use of those close relationships.